Bloomberg News

Former Citadel Employee Charged With Trade-Secret Theft

October 13, 2011

(Updates with potential sentence in second paragraph.)

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- A former Citadel LLC employee was charged with stealing trade secrets from the Chicago-based investment firm.

Yihao “Ben” Pu, 24, was arrested yesterday and faces as long as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago said today in a statement.

Citadel hired Pu last year to help develop proprietary- trading strategies for the $11 billion hedge fund. Citadel officials allegedly discovered Pu copying company data onto a removable storage device, according to the U.S.

“Pu was attempting to construct a trading strategy similar to the one used by Citadel,” Fitzgerald said, citing evidence recovered in the investigation. Citadel sued Pu in Illinois state court in August.

Pu made an initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez. He is being held in federal custody while awaiting a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow, according to prosecutors.

Robert Greenspoon, the attorney representing Pu in the civil suit, today declined to comment on the criminal allegations. Greenspoon, who appeared in court with Pu yesterday, said he won’t be the lead defense counsel in the criminal case.

Devon Spurgeon, a spokeswoman for Citadel, declined to comment on the case.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Pu, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The civil case is Citadel LLC v. Pu, 11CH30493, Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Chancery Division (Chicago).

--With assistance from Saijel Kishan in New York. Editors: Stephen Farr, Glenn Holdcraft

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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